November 5 and 7, 2013

immigration photos

For decades, immigration policy in the United States has been a paradigm of political debate, with policy makers and the American public unable to find consensus. With a system that everyone agrees is broken, the nation is on the verge of reform.

11 million undocumented people live in the United States. 4.3 million people are on the wait list for family-based visas and 113,058 waiting for employment-based visas — nearly 4.5 million in the overall backlog. Universities, like NYU, and employers are unable to retain talented young students after receiving advanced degrees in the vital STEM fields. And, immigration enforcement agencies are in overdrive, having doubled since 2004, with the greatest influx of agents in U.S. history.

As part of New York University’s Weissberg Forum for Discourse in the Public Square, NYU’s Scholar in Residence, Vice President for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress, Angela Maria Kelley hosted two forums that examined current reform measures and how policy choices have and will affect the immigrant population.

These forums considered how U.S. immigration policies change the lives of young immigrants (both documented and undocumented) with regard to access to education, healthcare, and employment as well as the consequences of immigration policies for the criminalization and incarceration of a vulnerable population. The forums provided an overview of the work of dedicated individuals, policymakers and organizations.

November 5, 2013

This discussion addressed the evolving debate over comprehensive immigration reform that is currently unfolding in the United States with a focus on comparative and global perspectives that can yield insight for domestic policies. In this forum, participants shared and drew upon the successes and failures with regard to immigration, including the ongoing, heated debates taking place in the United States Congress and elsewhere.

November 7, 2013

This discussion examined how the immigration policies of the United States affect young immigrants, both documented and undocumented, with regard to access to education, health care, and employment as well as the consequences of immigration policies for the criminalization and incarceration of this vulnerable population. Panelists shared their personal stories and experiences, reflecting on why they joined the movement to fight for comprehensive immigration reform.

Meet the Panel

Gov. O'Malley

Tolu Olubunmi

Clarissa Martínez De Castro - November 5

Andrea Cristina Mercado - November 7

Erika Andiola

Madeleine Sumption

Joanna Dreby

Ali Noorani

Weissberg Forum for Discourse in the Public Square Scholar in Residence

Angela Maria Kelley

Angela Maria Kelley


Angela Maria Kelley, NYU's first Weissberg Forum for Discourse in the Public Square's Scholar in Residence is a well-known authority on the policy and the politics of immigration, joined American Progress in 2009 as Vice President for Immigration Policy. 

About the Forum

Through the generosity of Trustee Nina Weissberg, New York University has established the Weissberg Forum for Discourse in the Public Square at its Constance Milstein and Family Global Academic Center in Washington, D.C. The Center provides study away and internship experiences for NYU students, offers research residencies for NYU faculty and graduate students, as well as rich academic and cocurricular programming. The Weissberg Forum is an annual signature event that brings together distinguished figures from government, industry, the professions, and the academy to discuss complex and timely issues from a variety of perspectives.